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guitarguy56 02-16-2013 03:02 PM

Moving sailboat to Savannah from Seattle...
Ok... so I locked in a new assignment back in my hometown of Savannah and have the sailboat in the Everett marina... my goal has been searching for a suitable trailer to put her on for the transport. It's a deep keel with 5 foot draft and trying to find a trailer has been tough... found one in San Francisco and one in LA... long drive to get them and not sure the condition of the brakes, tires, or electrical system... so I contacted Pacific trailers to get a feel for the time frame to get a trailer custom made for the boat... my question is the boat is 4000 lbs +/- and the trailer may be 1500 lbs or more... should I attempt to drive this myself (I would have to buy a F150-F250 truck) or pay someone to get this transport done? I've been offered transportation quotes from $3500-6000 for them to hitch up to his/her truck and have it in Savannah or is it wise to do it myself (I have experience towing trailers/boats)... it's a 3000 mile trip and over the Shasta Mountain range over this time of year (snow, ice, etc. and I never did this with this much weight). Would that be the best approach all things equal? I need to be at my new assignment mid March to end of March but is rather flexible as the company knows I have this sailboat and it is to be brought down to Savannah regardless of method of transport. :confused:

I know most of you would say sell it here... but I put a lot of work on this sailboat and have offered it to my son... so I would like to live up to my promise. :)


Cruisingdad 02-16-2013 03:50 PM

Re: Moving sailboat to Savannah from Seattle...
Well, we have taken both routes out of WA (recently). In winter, I would take the southern route through S California, east across Texas, NM, etc, then north up to Savanna. I would not take the east route this time of year.

I would pull it if I could get or rent a trailor.

I would opt for a F250 if I could, though our F150 was rated around 8000lbs tow cap IIRC. We used to have a F350 and hauled a boat back with it that weighed about what yours does and we didn't even know it was there!!

We hauled our compaq 16 up to Vancouver WA a little over a year ago and the only hard parts were the mountains in N CA and in New Mexico. THe rest is a piece of cake. We pulled it with our F150. However, it weighed in the 2000-3000 lb range, so less than yours.

My only suggestion is to strap the boat to the trailor with ratcheting straps. We literally went under the trailor in some spots so that the boat and trailor ride as one piece. Not sure that makes sense, but basically, ratchet her down tight with really good ratcheting straps.

Let me know if you need me to pull our route, etc.


PS Gas is far between in parts of West Texas and parts of New Mexico.

misfits 02-16-2013 04:34 PM

Re: Moving sailboat to Savannah from Seattle...
I would put up a listing requesting quotes on

A 3000 mile trip is going to cost but it'll be cheaper than buying a trailer & pick up.

If you decide to purchase a pickup, whether it's a F150 or 250, if it has a gas engine plan on 6 MPG for towing your boat.

jimrafford 02-16-2013 05:54 PM

Re: Moving sailboat to Savannah from Seattle...
I drive 10 hours a day every day for work and have done so for the last 30 years.
I drove out to Wisconsin w/ my new 3/4 ton limited edition truck a few years ago to tow a 6000 lb power boat I bought back to ct. Thought it would be fun. NOT! Exhausting and I couldn't believe how often I had to stop for fuel.
Do you really want to spend at least $25k for a reliable truck, buy a questionable trailer, $2k in fuel and spend a week towing.
Leave the long hauls to professionals w/ the appropriate equipment.
Ship it and be done w/ it.

donlofland 02-16-2013 06:07 PM

Re: Moving sailboat to Savannah from Seattle...
I might be in the same boat before too much longer. I checked with U Haul about towing my ~9000-10,000 boat/trailer across country, and they had no problem with that with their larger trucks, (which we would also use for our household belongings).

I also did an internet search, something like "pick up towing capacity", and came up with a helpful chart. It said even an F 150 with the right gearing would do the job, there there was a lot of info there.

jrd22 02-16-2013 09:04 PM

Re: Moving sailboat to Savannah from Seattle...
I think you would be money ahead to get some quotes on Uship like misfits suggested. Several of those guys have smaller gooseneck type trailers they pull behind F350-550 size trucks and they're pretty reasonable from what my son saw last year when he got quotes. Even though a pickup is rated to pull the weight doesn't mean it's going to be comfortable, a load that heavy is going to throw you all over the road unless it's balanced just right with a rear hitch. Check out any of the guys that respond on Uship, not all of them are legit.

guitarguy56 02-16-2013 09:33 PM

Re: Moving sailboat to Savannah from Seattle...
Thanks for the replies... I checked with Uship earlier and got quotes from several truckers and they all wanted to know if the trailer was road worthy, electric brakes/bearings newly greased, new tires, working lights, etc... but then I started thinking they want to 'tow' it down and that is something I can do (thought the quote was flatbed the trailer/boat to Savannah)... I don't have a problem buying an F250 truck or similar V8 heavy duty truck capable of towing 10,000 lbs... time is negotiable as far as getting the package to Savannah... most of you would let the transportation company or Uship do the driving and I'm inclined to do just that... problem is after it's all done I'm left with a about $3000-6000 added to the value of the boat which is 'gone'... of course if I drive it myself I can sell the truck and trailer once the boat is in water (no use for the trailer and truck) and recoup some of the money I spent and I would have only spent $1000-1500 in gas alone with hotels and meals so maybe total $2000... but if done with my son and I driving it becomes an adventure (hopefully not one with truck/tire repairs), a father son bonding time if you will... and I'm all up for that! Any thoughts I'm missing? :)

blt2ski 02-16-2013 09:51 PM

Re: Moving sailboat to Savannah from Seattle...
Not sure who or what pacific trailers is.....there is aplace in bellingham that can custom build a trailer for you. Along with it would not surprise me if you could not get one from some of the other boat trailer places also.

As far as towing 6-7K lbs......i would not want but one of the heaviest half tons, ie 6600-8K lbs gvwr. would prefer an 8 lug 25 or 35 series rig, as you will probably load up more sheet into the truck bed, before you know it, you have overloaded payload wise some of the more typical 5 or 6 lug 15 series trucks. Power wise, almost any truck today will tow a rig of that size without blinking an eye! Most have 200-250 hp minimum. There was a time when 105HP 300I6 gas was reasonable, a barely 200hp BB v8 with 300 ft lbs of torque was a monster motor! Now adays, the monster motor is considered anemic in some of the 3L V6 motors today! You can get a diesel with 400hp and 850 lb ft of torque!

Going south or somehow thru denver would be best. If you do it in the summer, then go I90 etc out of here. I90 is not that bad for grades etc overall.


jrd22 02-16-2013 10:09 PM

Re: Moving sailboat to Savannah from Seattle...
The quotes my son got included their custom sailboat trailer (41' LOA, 12' beam, 18-20,000 lbs, NC to Anacortes = $10K). If they expect you to have your own trailer you might as well do it yourself. Electric brakes suck IMO, go for a surge hyd. brake system. Could be a fun trip with your son, just don't count on it being comfortable with that much weight throwing you around (see jimrafford's reply above).

blt2ski 02-16-2013 10:26 PM

Re: Moving sailboat to Savannah from Seattle...

There is a few pics of me pulling my stepdads homebuilt sailboat home after initially hauling it with a pro hauler. Frankly, this trailer is a cake walk, once we got the correct tongue wt on it. A little light initially. This combo is around 8-9K lbs. I also tow a trailer with a bobcat and mini trackhoe, total is 12K.

While JRD does not like electric brakes, bigger trailers like this, you would not catch me with surge brakes! Smaller ones under 5K yes, over that, electric or one of the new elec over hydraulic disk setups.

This is one of those, to ea his own!


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